More and more, today’s television is presenting strong, confident, and fearless Latina characters -- women who are not intimidated by anyone or anything, who go for what they want and get it -- real chingonas, badasses.
On June 23, USA Network premiered the new series Queen of the South, an adaptation of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s bestselling novel and famed telenovela La Reina Del Sur, the story of Teresa Mendoza.
A queenpin of the modern cocaine trade, Teresa promises to be one of the biggest badasse to hit TV this summer. So, in honor of our Queen, we decided to take a look at some of TV’s other reigning Latina badasses on both sides of the law.
Carolina Miranda as Sara Aguilar, Señora Acero 3: La Coyote
The Character: Miranda plays a “coyote” who smuggles immigrants across the Mexican border and into the United States.
Why She’s Such a Badass: As the most famous and feared coyote on the border, Sara will defend others with her own life in the face of injustice. And what’s more? She does it for the right reasons, helping others escape to a better life.
Jennifer Lopez as Harlee Santos, Shades of Blue
The Character: Santos is a corrupt police officer and single mother in New York City who is forced to become a spy for the FBI to protect herself.
Why She’s Such a Badass: When you’re as in as good shape as J-Lo, may God help the bad guys who try to outrun you. Smart and fearless, Santos is always two steps ahead of everyone around her. Brains, beauty, and a badass? No fair.
Fernanda Castillo as Monica Robles, El Señor De Los Cielos
The Character: Born and raised in the world of drug trafficking, Monica runs the family business with her brother and will challenge anyone who opposes her rise in the ranks.
Why She’s Such a Badass: This woman is not afraid of anyone or anything – but everyone should be afraid of her! Whether she puts you in your place, or puts you in the ground, Monica Robles holds her own in the unforgiving narcos business.
Dasha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz, Orange Is the New Black
The Character: An inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary, Daya serves her time alongside her mother Aleida, and then becomes romantically involved with her C.O. -- who gets her pregnant.
Why She’s Such a Badass: Daya’s been dealt a bad hand, but she doesn’t let that stand in her way to get what she wants. She will take on anyone to protect the welfare of her unborn baby. Bonus points for not caring what anybody else thinks!
Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson, Suits
The Character: As the managing partner of New York’s most powerful law firm Pearson Specter Litt, Jessica has risen in the ranks through a combination of hard work and a low tolerance for B.S.
Why She’s Such a Badass: As if being the top dog at the country’s top firm weren’t fierce enough, Jessica keeps her employees in line – including some of the biggest egos in the Big Apple – and all while looking like a Prada model.
Ludwika Paleta as Yolanda Acosta, La Querida Del Centauro
The Character: An attractive and intelligent inmate in a maximum security prison becomes the lover of one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the country: El Centauro.
Why She’s Such a Badass: Yolanda has been a survivor all her life, having fled home from an abusive mother who tried to sell her when she just 14. She’s been kicking ass ever since and has already escaped from several prisons.
Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Character: A detective in Brooklyn 99th precinct, Rosa Diaz is so mysterious that we’re not even sure her real name is even “Rosa Diaz.”
Why She’s Such a Badass: Strong, aggressive, and intimidating -- even to other cops -- Diaz is not afraid to get physical when words fail her. But let’s be honest: it’s her insults that hurt most of all, and she seems to have an unlimited supply of them.
Ready for TV’s newest Latina badass? Be sure to tune into Queen of the South Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network!